Australis Performance Post-mortem Summary

Over the last few months, I’ve been talking about all of the work we put into making Australis feel fast when it shipped in Firefox 29.

I talked about where we started with our performance work, and how we grappled with the ts_paint and tpaint performance (“talos”) tests. After that, I talked a bit about the excellent tools we have (and ones we developed ourselves) to make finding our performance bottlenecks easier.

After a brief delay, I rounded out the series by talking about our tab animation performance work, and the customization transition performance work.

I think over the course of working on these things, I’ve learned quite a bit about performance work in general. If I had to distill it down to a few tidbits, it’d be:

  • Measure first to get a baseline, then try to improve. (Alternatively, “you can’t improve what you can’t measure”)
  • Finding the solutions to performance problems is usually the easy part. The hard part is finding and isolating the problems to begin with.
  • While performance work can be a bit of a grind, users do feel and appreciate the efforts. It’s totally worth it.

So that’s it on the series. Enjoy your zippy Firefox!

3 thoughts on “Australis Performance Post-mortem Summary

  1. rgloor

    Hi Mike
    Thanks for your Performance Optimization Series.
    Sounds interesting to me, despite not understanding to much about programming / coding.
    However, it would be quit interesting, if you could apply all/most of this knowledge to Thunderbird as well.
    We will hopefully see soon the new Thunderbird address book, supporting CardDAV.
    Then some performance optimizations in general but also for CalDAV and CardDAV (synchronization) would be very much appreciated.

    Good work! Looking forward to building on it.

    Thanks again for your great work.

    Best regards from Switzerland,

  2. avih

    Excellent summary! and congrats on your amazing work and dedication to improve performance, it really shows! 🙂

  3. Mike

    Hey Rolf,

    Unfortunately, I’m only ever able to attack the Thunderbird address book work in my free-time – and even that’s pretty rare these days (getting married soon!). Right now, work on it as at a standstill. Hopefully I can persuade some other TB hackers to work on it soon!


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